Browsing Tag

gratitude

Why not choose gratitude?

I finally wrote a thing. Finally. Be nice.

You know I’m big on finding a Happy Day Moment each day, living with gratitude, focusing on joy.

You know I have big feelings about finding a HDM.

I post a Happy Day Moment on my personal Facebook page (up to #2831 consecutive ones!) and I post something inspirational/motivational/encouragement on my Happy Day Moment Page because I’m determined to remember the preciousness of life.

Because I’m determined to choose gratitude.

Because even with all the stuff of 2017, even my father’s death, even my struggles to keep trusting and believing when I don’t understand the whys of certain situations … because …

Because … I’m determined to believe this:

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” ~ Isaiah 52:7

So, because even “life,” even “stuff,” I’m determined to choose gratitude, to publish “good news of happiness” on Facebook. 😊

It’s true – I’m a positive person by nature. And it’s true if you’re not naturally easy-going or cheery, you may have to work a little harder to discover a HDM. Not everyone is programmed to be Pollyanna or Little Miss Sunshine. Maybe you’re a bit Scrooge-ish or a glass-half-empty person. It’s hard to become that peppy sunny person if it isn’t in your making. Whether your life is disappointing, whether there’s unexpected hardship, whether there’s heartache, it’s hard to get out of a bad mood once it’s taken hold of you. The good news is that you can work at discovering a “happy day moment” even if gloominess is more your disposition. You can work at choosing gratitude. Good things often take time and effort. Bless God, living with gratitude can come when we develop a habit, a discipline, when we choose to see little small happy actions/words/sights that are always there – somewhere – every day.

So, why not choose gratitude?

From my HDM Posts/Twitter throughout 2017

Why not try out these little changes that could change you from negative to cheerful in no time.

  • Tell someone, “You make everything lovely.”
  • Concentrate on what you have, not on what you don’t have.
  • Be the person who decides to go for it.
  • Be kind to unkind people because they need it most.
  • No matter what others say or do, stay committed to being kind.
  • Be quiet while others speak.
  • Let your smile today lift someone’s life.
  • Trust God’s wisdom, even though you want to do it differently.
  • Let gratitude be more that an act; let it be a habit.
  • Practice relentless gratitude.
  • Let go of trying to change the people around you.
  • Let’s choose to speak kindness.

 

  • Do a little thing today to show your loved ones that you care.
  • Let’s banish our angry words and bring out the welcome mat for kindness and mercy.
  • Don’t think of others as problems, but as people to be loved.
  • Stay kind and committed to love, no matter what others do.
  • Don’t look backwards for very long. Keep moving forward.
  • Show your love in meaningful ways.
  • Treat others with kindness no matter how they differ from you.
  • Notice the people around you who seem isolated and engage them.
  • Touching someone you love actually reduces pain. Give a hug today.
  • All that beauty you see in others, tell them about it.

And why not remember these little observations that could change you from powerless to strong in no time.

  • Don’t get caught up in what could’ve or should’ve been.
  • There are times when bitter trials become blessings in disguise.
  • Let’s pull back our judgments and reach out our hands.
  • God is close to all who call on Him.
  • It is well with my soul. (The day my Dad died)
  • Never cling to the notion that something’s not possible.
  • Some of our strength would never be discovered if not for our struggles and trials.
  • Acts of love can thaw a frozen heart.
  • God’s faithful love never ends.
  • Everything starts with a dream.
  • Whatever God calls you to do, He will equip you.
  • You’ll never regret being true to your dreams.
  • God’s love is complete and He’s aware of your circumstances.

 

  • When we put kindness first, good things happen.
  • A peaceful person is not one who’s always in a good place, but one who always has a good attitude in every place.
  • Remember to thank people for their time.
  • Being generous and kind, even in circumstances where it’s hard.
  • We can’t go back and make a new beginning, but we can start over and make a new ending.
  • Don’t let failure go to your heart.
  • Where you can help, help. Where you can give, give.
  • Every week has seven days. Someday is not one of them.

 

  • God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
  • Let’s be patient with others and smile at strangers.
  • Kindness and compassion can heal wounds and restore peace.
  • We always have the ability to be kind.
  • The best stories end with gratitude.
  • Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence.
  • So often we don’t realize what we have. Pause and be grateful.
  • Let gratitude be something that you are. Not just doing, but being.
  • Open your eyes to see the wonderful things of our world.

My God reigns.

The Letter “G”

Gratitude … brought to you by Jama

New Year! New Year! And what do we all want? … A year where we all want to be happy!

How we find the “Happy”? … I’m saying (as I have been for some time) that we should look to the Letter “G” … “GRATITUDE!” Authentic moments of gratitude boost our ability to be happy, to see happiness, particularly when we’re stressed, overwhelmed, just plain-old fed up – with everything.

We all have STRESS (oh my goodness, what a year 2016 was!), but our response to dealing with it ALL is what determines its potentially toxic impact.

My response is the habit of gratitude … living with gratitude.

The Letter G.

The more we practice gratitude in the face of fear, adversity, loss and disappointment, the more we increase our capacity for joy, even bolstering our immune system and boosting resilience. Seriously. There have been studies!

And when our expectations collide with reality, gratitude can protect us from stress and even depression and help us create a new way of seeing, being and living.

Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us to be healthier, to make more friends, and to deepen our existing relationships.

According to an article in the Harvard Mental Health Letter, “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

In her bestseller Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach wrote “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”

And for me, it’s in the Bible:  “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Through expressing gratitude, we remember where our blessings come from. It’s in the Bible: “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”

To start your habit of finding the Letter “G,” finding a Happy Day Moment, an “everyday epiphany,” try these four things:

  1. Be aware. Every single day look around at your life and find something to be grateful for, some joy, some inspiration, some silliness. Pay attention! We so often look but don’t see; hear but don’t listen. Make your daily purpose to choose awareness, to enjoy the beauty of the treasures in your path. Look for God’s fingerprints and hear His whispers amid the messes, and your heart will change. Don’t lose sight of the goodness of life.
  2. Change your thinking. There’s more than enough negativity in the world right now. So do your best to be more positive about yourself, about those around you, and about life in general to tip the scale back towards positivity, love, and hope.
  3. Do something happy for someone.  What can you do right now to give a happy moment to someone? Even if it’s someone you don’t know … that stranger with a heavy load, a frown, a scowl. Even when you’re in an unhappy moment. Do something every day that makes someone smile, gives someone a boost to their weary spirit. You’ll find gratefulness when you can use your life in ways that lift another person.
  4. Keep track of awesome things. Remember the “happy moments” that you see, hear, feel, and don’t let them slip away after you come up with them. Write down the simplest things you feel grateful for daily, one good moment that happened to you, that you did, that you witnessed. Then, if something in your life starts getting you down, starts bugging you, go straight to your “happy moment” notes and get a dose of gratitude.

It’s really a choice. Your choice for how you move forward into this new year. Try it with more of the Letter “G”.

 

 

Closing the chapter of 2016

On this the final day of 2016, while John and I sipped our coffee and watched the morning news, he skimmed the newspaper and I scrolled through Facebook. I commented, “It’s disheartening to read and hear just about everyone say that 2016 was ‘one of the worst years ever.’”

“If you highlight the negative, you can make any year horrible,” John replied.

Truth.

Then he added, “Or you can highlight the positive…like CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!”

To that remark, I laughed and laughed, and so did he. Because he’s a St. Louis Cardinals fan, while I’m a die-hard Cubs fan(atic).

But it’s true. Every year has its negatives, its disappointments, its regrets, its sorrows, its pains, its losses.

Yet, every year (if you choose to discover) has its positives, its joys, its celebrations, its wins.

Some years have more milestones than others: personal physical mental professional relational emotional financial spiritual. Some years prayers are answered; some years there is more waiting.

While 2016 often seemed like a year that many want to forget, for me, the year had some pretty awesome highlights, milestones to remember:

I turned 60.

I quit a job.

I accepted a new job.

I taught an English class at Ball State. (And met incredible students.)

I directed the 43rd Midwest Writers Workshop.

I celebrated my husband’s retirement.

I saw my grandchildren, heard them laugh and talk, and felt their hugs.

I supported my parents and the challenges in their lives.

…and to repeat, I cheered and cried that THIS actually happened: “Cubs win …The World Series!” Seriously.

Six years ago, I began a practice of posting a “Happy Day Moment” on my personal Facebook page. Writing something every day that I was “happy” for, something to be grateful for. It has changed my life.

The daily practice, the discipline, the routine of choosing to look for the positive, not always focusing on the negative, has changed me. Forever. Strengthened me to face … anything.

It’s impossible to think negatively when you’re focusing on the positive.

It’s impossible to have an attitude of lack when you’re embracing abundance.

It’s impossible to be judgmental, resentful, or quarrelsome when you’re thankful for your relationships.

It’s impossible to miss the lessons when you give thanks for your difficulties and obstacles.

It’s impossible to miss the moment when you’re present and grounded in each one as it comes.

I know I can keep my humor, my perspective, and my patience regardless of how my day (or life) evolves.

The key is gratitude. 

So, be thankful for 2016, with everything it contained. And be thankful for 2017, for everything it will hold.

 

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the dry lands. ~ Isaiah 43:19

This Christmas

 

May we be a kind person who makes a difference.

May we be patient with those in the hard times.

May we be quiet and thankful for all that we have.

May we be compelled to boundless gratitude.

May we be aware that God’s promise of strength has no expiration date.

May we comprehend that God extends grace greater than our hardships.

May we create space for acceptance, growth, and grace.

May the blessings we receive today be the blessings we need the most.

May our actions be of the love and acceptance we claim to stand for.

May we make every effort to do what leads to peace and encouragement.

May we let joy become a filter by which we view life.

May we choose to see the happy stuff.

May the key ingredient of our life be faith.

May we always always always speak our love.

We Can All Be Grateful

With all I’ve been through, all the physical challenges, all the emotional heartaches, I’m still a glass-half-full kind of person, a rah-rah, God-is-Faithful believer. Many of you, however, are wired a bit differently; you may have to work a little harder to see the sunnyside of life. We’re not all programmed to be sunshiny in the dark places. We all can’t be that peppy bright person all the time if it isn’t in our making.

But the good news is that we call all learn to be more grateful. This takes time and focus and awareness. Fortunately, finding those “happy moments” and that gratitude can come from making little tweaks in our lives. So, why not try out these little changes* that could help you become a little more cheerful, a little more grateful, a little more sunshiny, a little more thanksgiving-y.

DO SOMETHING NICE

  • Go on the compassion offensive. Grab the initiative and deliberately choose a policy of being kind.
  • Aim to comfort those in sorrow and encourage those who are despondent.
  • Throw gratitude around like glitter.
  • Let’s love people. All people. Because all people are worthy.
  • Give your love away. Make others feel needed and loved.
  • Be the one who makes others smile.
  • Don’t be quarrelsome, but be kind to others.

PAY ATTENTION

  • Notice today the small things that you normally take for granted.
  • Never grow tired of doing what’s right.
  • When others talk, listen to understand, not to respond.
  • There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for.
  • Learn to let your mistakes be lessons and not losses.
  • Note to self: It may be hard, but hard is not impossible.

note-to-self

SPEAK OUT

  • Let your heart be glad; let your tongue speak happy words.
  • God blesses us so we can bless others.
  • Spend more time talking about your joys than your troubles.
  • May God’s love have the first and last word in everything we do.

UNDERSTAND

  • The result of forgiving is a life lived for God.
  • Don’t be trapped in a past memory or a future hope, but live in the present.
  • Sometimes good things take longer.
  • Don’t stumble over those things that are behind you.
  • You are not your weight, your height, your face, your age; you are your heart, your compassion, your humanity.
  • Deciding to be happy is good for your health.
  • God’s promises stand sure no matter what our doubts may be.
  • Don’t struggle to be what “others” like – be who you are.
  • The only reason I’ve made it this far is that God is with me.

the-only-reason-ive-made-it-this-far-is-that-god-is-with-me

*Posts from Happy Day Moment Facebook Page (September 2016). Like and follow my daily encouragements!

Happy Thanksgiving!